Bethesda United Methodist Church Celebrates 40 Years of Support for Martha’s Table

Bethesda United Methodist Church Celebrates 40 Years of Support for Martha’s Table

Bethesda United Methodist Church’s connection with Martha’s Table began 40 years ago when Veronica Maz, the founder of Martha’s Table, visited the church. She talked about the work Martha’s Table provided and the efforts to support individuals and families experiencing food insecurity in the District at a meeting in the evening. Inspired by the mission, the church decided to support Martha’s Table by making sandwiches for its program McKenna’s Wagon, a mobile food service operating 365 days a year.

The initial collection of sandwiches took place on May 1, 1983, with the church members making a total of 277 sandwiches. Encouraged by the success, the church continued the effort on the first Sunday of each month, eventually becoming known as ‘Sandwich Sunday.’ The process involved individuals and families making sandwiches at home and bringing them to the church for collection. A small group of church members took turns delivering the sandwiches to Martha’s Table’s location, where they were distributed through McKenna’s Wagon.

While sandwich-making remained the primary activity, other church programs also incorporated it. Sunday school teachers and children’s programs occasionally engaged in making sandwiches as part of their curriculum. Over time, Sandwich Sunday became a self-sustaining outreach ministry within the church, with a core group of 30 to 40 people participating regularly.

As the church recently celebrated 40 years of support of Martha’s Table, the milestone signifies the program’s enduring significance and the unwavering dedication of church members. The church collected over 2,000 sandwiches and trail mix, dwarfing the number of their first collection.  Throughout the forty years, BUMC has collected nearly 278,000 sandwiches and over 27,000 baggies of trail mix!  

We had one lady who was a generous sandwich maker.  Her daughter and son-in-law were also involved, as was their son and his children.  So there were four generations at one time that were involved in making sandwiches. And we have a son that has also followed in his mother’s footsteps. so it’s been handed down. It just keeps continuing. I think people realize that, unfortunately, poverty just never seems to go away. Every little bit helps, and you all have provided a good program that we can just tie right into.’ Bruce Smith, Bethesda United Methodist Church member 

The commitment and involvement of multiple generations of families highlight the program’s lasting impact and the church’s dedication to locking arms with Martha’s Table to address hunger as a fundamental human need. With food and housing insecurity persisting in the nation’s capital and elsewhere, programs like McKenna’s Wagon continue to play a vital role in providing assistance and hope.

Learn more about how you can support Martha’s Table here.

3 New comments

Michelle Beecher | Reply

I just received a card from Kinara program. One of y’all’s card. I’ve been trying to call but no response. I was wondering if I can come there to pick up food or have food delivered. I don’t know how your Program works.

Michelle Beecher | Reply

Are y’all open tomorrow? if so what time can I call to talk to someone about food? Do y’all give out food? Trying to get some help on how y’all’s Program work. Thank You

Jeff Kilgore | Reply

My son and I would appreciate your services we could use food I am 62 years old if it matters anyway please give us a call at 202-909-8280. Thank you Jeff and Kyle Killgore.

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